Some two months ago, back on Media Day for the on-rushing season, Pat Fitzgerald took time to laud the running back Venric Mark. "What I like most about V so far is his attitude has been tremendous," he said then. "He's like a kid in a candy store. He's having fun. I told him the other day, 'You're a junior now.' He just kind of rolled his eyes. It's going fast for him, but he really invested this summer. He's in great shape."
"As I think about it now, yeah, it has really gone fast," Mark himself would say minutes later. "I remember when I first got here and I can't believe I'm going into my third year ... It gives you a sense of urgency. Coming into your junior year, it's bar none. You've got to make plays. We're all hungry for that. We really are."
LOOKIN' BACK: There were any number of reasons we wanted to check in with offensive tackle Patrick Ward. There was, first of all, his selection as the 'Cats offensive player of the South Dakota game. There was, in addition, that one minus he had received for his performance last Saturday, that negative blip he got for his work on -- of all things -- a quarterback sneak. Finally, and not unimportantly, there was the homage paid his mental acuity by Pat Fitzgerald, who had noted in awe that Ward was a straight A student except for a single A-minus.
"There were a couple A-minuses. Unfortunately," he admitted when we did check in with him.
* Here's a rarity. As their offensive player of the game in Saturday's win over South Dakota, the 'Cat coaches selected left tackle Patrick Ward. "He had one 'minus' the whole game. He was pretty close to that perfect game you can throw as an offensive lineman," Pat Fitzgerald said Monday.
* Here's the kicker. Adam Cushing, the 'Cat offensive line coach, gave Ward his single minus on, of all things, a quarterback sneak. "I beat Cush up about it today. I made fun of Adam," Fitzgerald revealed. "I told him, 'Pat Ward came to me and said it was the worst coaching performance he'd ever seen. [Cushing] had to nitpick to give him a minus.' It was actually on a quarterback sneak. That was the funny part of the whole thing. 'C'mon, Cush. Give me a break.'"
HELLO: Last Saturday, on the first play of his college career, true freshman Traveon Henry ripped down Ryan Field with the rest of the 'Cat kickoff team. Then, Pat Fitzgerald says with a chuckle, "He got his lips knocked off. He got double-teamed, lifted off his feet and knocked on his can, and he gets up and gets in on the tackle. That's kind of exciting for a puppy."
They did grip work. They did wrist extensions. They stuck their hands in a bucket filled with rice and pushed through it. They grabbed onto numerous plates of weight and just held them as long as they could. "Building that strength in all those tendons, those fibers, those muscles," explains Jose Jose Palma, a member of the NU Football Performance Staff.
Exciting news for Wildcat fans who use iOS devices - the NUsports
All Access player is now available on iPhone and iPad!
Our website partners at CBS Interactive recently unveiled
the first iteration of a HTML5 video player for our website, which allows for
increased compatibility with iOS devices. The HTML5 functionality is currently
limited to on-demand video content, but CBS plans to increase the functionality
to include live streaming and embedded video players down the road.
You won't have to change the way you use NUsports.com to
view video content on iOS devices, either. Auto-detect scripting is in place
that determines if you are accessing our website on an iOS device and
automatically switches you over to the HTML5 video player.
We're very excited about the latest enhancement for our
video offerings, and hope you enjoy the new ability to watch our All Access
content on your mobile device. We'd love to hear your feedback on the HTML5
player - tweet it @NU_Sports!
* Early Saturday evening, after the 'Cats had defeated Boston College, quarterback Kain Colter was one of the players who appeared in the interview room. He had, as usual, split time that afternoon with Trevor Siemian, and so here it was only natural that he was asked if he felt he was in a competition for the starting job. "You're always in competition," he said bluntly. "Nothing in this program is set. If a guy's doing a lot better than you, then he'll play. The coaches are competitive. They want to win. They're going to put the best 11 players on the field. So you're always in competition."
NEW WEEK. SAME OL' STORY: On its very first play in the very first game of this very new season, the Wildcats defense was attacked by the arm of Syracuse quarterback Ryan Nassib. By the time that afternoon ended, he had attempted 65 passes and completed 44. On its first three plays in its first home game of a still-new season, the 'Cat defense was attacked by the arm of Vanderbilt quarterback Jordan Rodgers. By the time this afternoon ended, he had attempted 33 passes and completed 17. Now, on Saturday, Boston College drops by Ryan Field with its own accomplished quarterback, the 6-foot-3 junior Chase Rettig.
Late Saturday night, after his team's victory over Vanderbilt, Pat Fitzgerald lamented his 'Cats offensive inconsistency in that game. On Monday, after viewing the film, he was more specific in his critique.
The Northwestern Wildcats are off to their best start in 25
years and the team wants to share its skills with area girls 8th-grade-and-under
The first in-season clinic will be held on Monday, Oct. 1 at
4:30 p.m. inside Welsh-Ryan Arena. Various drills will be conducted in an
effort to teach fundamental volleyball skills to all participants. The clinic
will last 90 minutes and will be followed by an autograph session. Participants
who register for this clinic will receive three vouchers for free admission to
any future Northwestern volleyball match (a $21 value).
The second clinic will take place on Sunday, Oct. 21 after
the Wildcats battle the Iowa Hawkeyes in an exciting Big Ten match. The match
begins at 2 p.m. and the clinic will begin shortly upon its conclusion.
Participants who register for this clinic will receive free admission to the
match and two vouchers for free admission to any future match.
Participants should arrive in athletic shoes and comfortable
clothing and should be prepared to have a great time learning the game from the
Registration for each clinic is $10 and includes vouchers,
instruction, a water bottle and access to autograph sessions. Space is limited
to 100 participants for each clinic, so sign-up now. For more information, or
to register, please contact Joe Thuente by phone at 847-467-6862 or via e-mail
* Let's get this out of the way first. "Yeah. Absolutely," 'Cat coach Pat Fitzgerald said late Saturday night when asked if Kain Colter was still his team's starting quarterback. That was true even though Trevor Siemian, Colter's backup, had just catalyzed the 'Cats to a comeback win for the second week in a row.
* Last Monday, at his weekly press conference, 'Cat coach Pat Fitzgerald tore into the performance of his kicking team against Syracuse ("We stunk"), and then dropped in this declaration. "I don't like stinking. And I don't like when guys don't execute what they're coached to do. So we're going to make personnel changes. We made a bunch of personnel changes in the game. We played 44 guys. We're not going to go through what we went through last year. We're going to find the best 11 and get them on the field."
And what, we later asked him, did he exactly mean by "We're not going to go through what we went through last year"?
Five Northwestern fencers, along with head coach Laurie Schiller and associate head coach Ed Kaihatsu, traveled overseas earlier this summer for the 2012 Korea-USA Elite Fencing Invitational (KUEFI).
The competition, staged at SUNY Korea in Songdo International City, pitted Team Korea against Team USA against Team Korea over four spirited days of action. The team of United States All-Stars featured 83 fencers form 10 of the top fencing squads around the country, including the five Wildcats.
A pair of 2012 NCAA Championship qualifiers, including All-American Kate Cavanaugh, represented NU in the epée competition. Cavanaugh was joined in the tournament by fellow NCAA qualifier Courtney Dumas and classmate Kendrick Mooney. Dumas recorded the highest finish of the trio, placing 10th. Cavanaugh finished 15th and Mooney checked in at 21st in the talented international field.
After battling through injury for much of her first season at Northwestern, Katherine Kim came on strong at the end of the season and carried that success into a great showing in Korea. Kim finished 10th in the foil competition at the KUEFI.
Team captain Alicia Gurrieri represented the Wildcats in the women's sabre event. Gurrieri placed 13th in the competition.
Special thanks to Ed Kaihatsu, who documented the trip by taking hundreds of pictures. For a small sample of the experience, visit the photo gallery below.
debuts are coming fast and furious this week from Northwestern! On the heels of
the groundbreaking Social Media Hub for our football program,
TheWildcatWay.com, today we are launching a refreshed and redesigned
NUsports.com in conjunction with our web hosts, CBS Interactive.
recently extended our relationship with the CBS College Sports Network, which
provides a website redesign as part of that agreement. Northwestern has had a
longstanding relationship with CBS dating to the 1990s; this will be our fifth
redesign in the last 10 years. For fun, scroll down to the bottom of this post
to see the way NUsports.com has looked over the years courtesy of the Internet
Archive Wayback Machine. My, how we've grown up!
These were all words I had both heard and used countless times while competing for an internship with Under Armour. Over the years I had followed the company's impressive growth, witnessed the "in-your-face" advertising, and was shocked alongside the rest of the country by their fearless uniform designs. Yet despite all of this, nothing could prepare me for what I would experience first-hand when I arrived in the city of Baltimore.
"This isn't like all those other internships. You won't be getting anyone coffee here." This line has practically become a cliché in the world of internships, and every college student looking for work in the summertime has heard it before. Little did I know that when it came to Under Armour, this "line" doesn't just hold true- it is an incredible understatement.
From the moment I stepped foot on UA headquarters, I was on the go. As an intern in the digital marketing department, I was constantly reminded, "Social media never sleeps, Dayana;" quickly, I realized I wouldn't be doing much sleeping either. I was (literally) sprinting from meeting to meeting across headquarters, interviewing the brand's professional athletes, and working at sporting events around the country. Already, I was beginning to note the striking similarities between life at Under Armour and at Northwestern.
Oftentimes people say that what one learns in school is useless in the workplace. I would be lying if I said the thought hadn't crossed my mind during one of my numerous all-nighters throughout the school year. However, during this internship it became clear to me that my experiences as a Northwestern student-athlete had more than prepared me for my workplace. Considering the unforgiving quarter system, grueling schedules, and multiple cross-campus practices a day, my adjustment wasn't a drastic one.
Throughout the summer, the similarities proved endless. As I got to know the company's culture, I began to realize more and more what an incredibly cohesive relationship was being formed between Under Armour and Northwestern. Both ends live and breathe their values of teamwork, determination and excellence. Both ends are seen as the underdogs, yet continue to work relentlessly. Both Under Armour and Northwestern don't just demand respect... they are willing to fight for it.
Naturally, I was hungry for any Northwestern-related information I could find. I spent any free-time I had badgering the on-field design teams and ooh-ing and ahh-ing over new uniforms and gear. I not-so-casually invited myself to the video shoot for the uniform teaser, where I would stand in a corner attempting to exude professionalism, while I jumped up and down squealing on the inside. It continuously blew my mind the amount of authenticity and attention to detail Under Armour dedicated to anything Northwestern-related.
On the day of the football uniform reveal, fellow Wildcat and ESPN sports business reporter Darren Rovell first broke the news. Immediately following, my fellow digital marketing interns and I were given the responsibility of pushing the unveiled designs over social media. I watched the very collages I had put together that morning spread like wildfire over the internet- whether it was my favorite sports blog or my friend's Facebook page, the Northwestern stripe was now everywhere.
Never have I seen such incredibly positive feedback. It didn't matter what critics thought... amongst the Northwestern community, the excitement was undeniable. It became obvious to everyone that Under Armour and Northwestern would serve as a catalyst for one another, immediately catapulting this new partnership to the forefront of collegiate athletics.
That was when it really hit me. Under Armour didn't just design our uniforms; Under Armour had brought to life the grit, determination, and unbeatable quality our athletes represent everyday. The "stripe" isn't just something aesthetically pleasing, a design to wear on our chests; the stripe is something tangible to get behind, something that is only ours, and something that embodies the Northwestern spirit proudly for everyone to recognize. If there is one thing I learned from my summer experience, it's this: Under Armour and Northwestern did not simply form a new business arrangement. Under Armour and Northwestern have come together to begin a complete and total movement... and this movement begins with reclaiming the stripe.
The 'Cats, once up by 22, were now down six and desperately needing a classic two-minute drive to rescue their season opener at Syracuse. This was just the kind of moment savored by any competitor, just the kind of burden a true leader wants on his shoulders, just the kind of situation a swashbuckling quarterback relishes. Kain Colter is all of those things, a competitor and a true leader and a swashbuckling quarterback, but here he proved himself to be something even more impressive than all that. He proved it my putting his team above himself.